Environment & Energy

More Vessel Speed Limits Needed to Save Right Whales, Suit Says

Jan. 13, 2021, 6:41 PM

The National Marine Fisheries Service is putting endangered right whales at risk by its failure to respond to petitions seeking more vessel speed limits along the east coast, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by conservation groups in a Washington, D.C., federal court.

Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Defenders of Wildlife, and two other groups filed a petition in August 2020 for the agency to add to its 2013 Vessel Speed Rule, according to the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

NMFS, also known as NOAA Fisheries, documented an “unusual mortality event” for right whales...

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